PEPPER PIKE — Surveyors from Chagrin Valley Engineering are planning to visit about 80 homes in the city to observe the conditions of creeks in the back of the properties. City Engineer Don Sheehy said that there have been multiple severe rainstorms and the city needs to get a better handle on what is going on at private properties that may affect drainage, as well as in the right of way, which is maintained by the city.

Over the weekend of May 15-17, many Pepper Pike residents dealt with heavy rains, and Mayor Richard Bain said that his backyard flooded for the first time in more than 30 years. The Service Department received 34 flood reports from that storm and 17 streets had high water, according to Service Director Bob Girardi.

“There are many tributaries for Pepper Creek and they go throughout the city,” Mr. Sheehy said on June 18. “There are some branches of Pepper Creek where we’re doing some investigation. We’ve had overland flow issues and some flooding issues. We’re trying to do an investigation of what’s going on in backyards.”

Mr. Sheehy said that the city knows what is going on in the right of way for creeks throughout the city but does not know what obstructions there may be on private property. Some could be man-made while others could be blockages caused by debris, for example. Mr. Sheehy’s engineering firm plans to make observations and take photos.

“We’ve got to get a handle on what we think are the pinch points and what we think are the problems,” he said at the June 17 council meeting. “Then we can come up with a plan of attack and short- and long-term solutions to try to address some of these drainage issues.”

Mayor Bain described this as an “information gathering exercise.” After a heavy rain, city employees hear about which residents had issues with flooding. The mayor said that it seemed like there were large stretches of several streets with overland flooding. Sometimes there could be a structural problem, but other times it could be coming from the back of the property.

“That’s why we have undertaken this first step to at least understand where the creeks are, how they may have moved over time and are they causing some new problem that we’re not really comprehending,” he said.

Mr. Sheehy said that residents can let the city know if they have concerns about the surveyors coming to their property, but he expects that residents will be pleased as the city is working to solve flooding issues. Surveyors have already started their work in the right of way.

Julie Hullett has been a reporter for the Chagrin Valley Times since August of 2018 and covers Gates Mills, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere. She graduated from John Carroll University with a journalism degree in 2018.

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